How Amazon Almost Destroyed My Life
I started selling on Amazon 8 years ago, I was still at studying and the money I earned from my Amazon business back then helped me to pay for University.
My business was simple. I imported Havaianas Flip Flops from Brazil and sold them in the UK and US. Profit margin was really good. First year I sold 200 pairs. Within 3 years I managed to sell 19000 pairs a year.I outsourced order fulfillment to Amazon. It was a lot cheaper than running my own warehouse and paying workers. I just had to manage the supply chain, which can be pretty challenging in Brazil. The process of exporting goods out of Brazil is extremely complicated. However, my experience made it a lot easier.
I felt kind of proud of myself of what I have created. I turned a really small business into a real money making machine.
Life was good; I was making a lot of money. I enjoyed the good life. Until my Amazon account got suspended out of the blue. This must have been the biggest shock of my life.
- There was no warning from Amazon why they suspended the account
- Amazon refuses to explain to me why they banned me.
- I tried to appeal the Amazon account suspension, without success. They just ignore me.
One of the biggest issues is that I have so much money tied up in my stock I cannot access. Amazon refuses me to give me access to my goods. They also withholding more than $52000 USD in my suspended Amazon account.
How can large cooperation act like some crooks? What they are doing is illegal; you just cannot withhold someone else’s property.
I already got some lawyers to sue Amazon as this behavior is just plain illegal. They can suspend my account; however they can’t just keep all my stock and money.
Most Amazon sellers are not aware that the business they build over many years is always at the mercy of the Amazon gods. It’s like Russian roulette. There is always a risk that you will get your account suspended without any reason.
There are no fair and balanced appeal processes in place. Amazon is run like a totalitarian state. Sellers on Amazon have no rights whatsoever. Selling online without having a presents at the Amazon Market place got very difficult.
eBay is even worse than Amazon. They run their website like some Indian sweatshop. Sellers get ripped off with extremely high fees. The issue is that you have to pay for every unsold action which can get really expensive. I stopped selling on eBay, as actual cost of the goods was lower than the fees I had to pay to eBay. We closed our eBay account, as the workload was too high and profit margin was way to slim.
I will find a way to get my Amazon business back. I was always a fighter. I never give up easy. Nobody can just suspended my account and think I will give up.